When your product connects with your target consumer on a level that really makes a difference amongst all their changing preferences, they transform from a one-time buyer to an invaluable contributor to the growth of your brand. Studying and knowing your true consumer through the collection of deep insights – even before your product is developed – can make a real impact on the market with the creation of a product built on authentic insights.
Trends come and go, and fads are even faster. With a whirlwind of changing trends based on changing consumer preferences, it can be difficult to know where to focus new product developments and existing optimizations for the best results for your brand. That’s why it’s crucial for brands to continue to stay ahead of the curve and understand their consumer behaviors and preferences that hold the power to make or break repeat product purchases.
When you employ deep and immersive product testing with your target consumers in a situation that allows natural engagements and interactions, the output will be high-quality – and sometimes unexpected – results. Those results can lead to a path for your product development that will truly connect and stick with your consumer, even past the time of fast trends and fads.
When our clients partner with us at Curion, our teams come together not just for product testing, but to truly understand the end consumer. What drives them? Why do they prefer certain attributes over others? What does it take to strategically develop and launch a great product with high consumer liking that will lead to repeat purchases? These answers, plus many more, culminate to form an ideal data-backed product that consumers will love and continue to purchase.
Changing consumer preferences
Consumer preferences are so dynamic, and they’re influenced constantly by society, technological advancements, shifting lifestyles, and so much more. The constant flow of information disrupts and contributes to changing consumer preferences and what communities of consumers find appealing.
On the opposite end, some brands are opting for the “slow living” direction: slowing down, doing less, being present, and letting consumers really feel more and savor their experience with their products before moving on to the next big thing. What once started in Italy as a push to promote local cuisine and steer away from mainstream chains, has now developed into not just the way people live their lives, but how they consume products.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of changing consumer preferences – and knowing which ones will stick around longer – is a strategic advantage with the help of consumer insights that can help your brand shift across the market with agility. By aligning consumer preferences, messaging, and experiences together, brands can create a strong competitive product that aligns with consumer values, builds loyalty, grows a more positive brand perception, and ultimately results in repeat purchases.
Through our research and insights, we collected 10 consumer preferences that we believe are sticking around for a while, and are guiding new directions across multiple markets:
- Sustainability and Conscious Consumerism: Consumers are choosing brands that align with their values, which include sustainable and environmentally friendly products, eco-friendly packaging, plant-based diets, and a higher demand for transparency on product labels to ensure product choices are sourced and produced safely.
- Preference for “Local”: The appreciation for local cuisines and supporting local businesses is driven by a desire to access unique, artisanal goods and services while also embracing local and regional qualities that show authenticity and culturally diverse options.
- Subscription Services: Subscription services have been gaining popularity and growing by the numbers across industries, from streaming platforms to meal kits, reflecting a shift in how consumers access and consume products and services.
- Contactless Services: This is here to stay, extending to areas beyond contactless delivery, virtual consultations, and touchless technology to minimize physical contact.
- Rise of Social Media Commerce: Social media platforms have transformed their strategies to include shopping hubs to respond to the consumer preferences around seamless buying experiences integrated into social interactions. Welcome to the game, TikTok Shop.
- Experiences Over Possessions: Brands have been experimenting with new hyperphysical store concepts over online or connected retail experiences, providing a slow-living concept for people to experience and enjoy brands and products. Personalizing and customizing also enhances the consumer experience.
- Focus on Mental Wellbeing: Consumers continue to emphasize their mental wellness, leading to a surge in demand for products with functional ingredients, vitamins, and nutritional benefits that promote benefits like relaxation, stress relief, and mindfulness.
- Remote Lifestyle: The shift to a remote environment has influenced consumer preferences, from food and dining options and choices to comfortable accessories and tech gadgets that enhance productivity.
- Minimalist Design Preferences: Clean and minimalist design preferences are influencing product design, packaging, and branding across various industries. With a clear message and design, products are more easily understood by consumers.
- Preference of AI over Web: Consumers have been experimenting with different forms of AI, from seeking information, editing and creating photos from ideas, customizing AI assistants, and much more. This powerful movement makes digital capabilities more accessible and inclusive.
Reaching consumers the right way
80% of consumers say the experience is just as important as the products and services offered by a company. But with so much noise and millions of engagements across millions of consumers, how can you make sure you’re building the best experience that will capture the attention of your target audience?
As a brand leader, researcher, or any position where you need to make decisions regarding your product, you want to test the right people the right way. Curion works side-by-side with your team to help you get your answers from our worldwide database of consumers, filtered to include the right panelists for your projects. We partner alongside your team to build and execute the best methodology for your needs with the support of qualitative insights and quantitative data.
With our partnership, your final decisions for your products can be guided and backed with data to inform you on the best path for your product success and consumer acceptance, with the cherry on top of providing consumers with exactly what they want in a product.
When brands know their consumers and understand their changing needs and preferences, they can deliver a product that gives consumers exactly what they need. Consumer insights gathered from testing products and services, like these, can be folded back into the brand strategy to improve customer satisfaction and grow repeat purchases. Here’s a few well-known examples of how the consumer-brand connection has won us over.
- Warby Parker and Glossier have built a cult-like following and community around their brand on Instagram and other social platforms. The tailored brand voices and influencers make the shopping experiences more relatable, touching on the consumer desire to be understood by their brands.
- Subscription services for personal care products like Dollar Shave Club have also gained popularity by offering convenience and customization. With the right messaging and communications built around these brands, the ideal consumers are drawn in to set up a monthly subscription service that keeps delivering delight.
- Beauty and fashion concepts using hyperstore concepts and AR (augmented reality) for virtual product try-ons are enhancing the overall shopping experience. The fashion luxury brand Balenciaga transformed its London location using pink faux fur to help launch a new product line, merging a deeper experience into its hyperstore strategy. The elevation of luxury adds to the shopping experience, connecting with consumers who seek premium products as a status symbol.
Why this really matters to your brand
The changing consumer landscape is a living force to continue to keep an eye on, especially understanding real preferences and knowing what will stick.
When target consumers are involved in product creations and actively contributing to your future product development, your brand can adapt, innovate, and stay ahead of the true trends that shape your market.
The ability to collect and use gathered information to understand and truly connect with your target audience is a smart strategic edge that leads to repeat purchases, happy customers, and brand loyalty.
Curion specializes in delivering impactful insights to the world’s top CPG companies, helping them develop winning, repeatedly purchased products. Curion’s deep data-driven product insights, sensory expertise, and state-of-the-art consumer centers enable them to uncover responses to critical client objectives. With over five decades of experience in the product testing industry, Curion is dedicated to guiding clients with their proprietary Product Experience and Performance (PXP™) platform, connecting brands to consumers at every step. An innovator in the industry, Curion recently developed a groundbreaking benchmarking product testing method, the Curion Score™, which has become a trusted and sought after tool within the industry. As one of the largest product and consumer insights companies in the U.S., Curion has built a reputation for excellence and trust among the world’s leading consumer brands. Curion’s commitment to innovation and expertise, coupled with a passion for delivering actionable insights, makes Curion a valuable partner for companies looking to develop and launch successful products.